Mandie's Dinner Diner

September 23, 2011

Vegetable Lasagna

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 3:25 pm

Today, I brought home from Aldi the most beautiful looking peppers! I mixed bag of sweet baby peppers. I have not seen these before but they look like hot peppers (elongated) but they taste like red, orange, and yellow bell peppers. I enjoyed them in salsa and thought about chopping them up for the freezer. Then I remembered that I had also purchased fresh mushrooms and had fresh spinach in the refrigerator. So, I got busy creating this:

The Recipe:
1/2 lb lasagna noodles, cooked
2-3 c. favorite spagetti sauce
1/2 lb cottage cheese
1/2 c. parmesan
1 small egg (any size will do)
1/2 lb fresh spinach washed and dried
1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered or sliced
1-2 c. bell peppers, sliced or diced
Plenty of Mozzeralla cheese (at least 2 cups)

In a separate bowl combine the cottage cheese, parmesan, and egg. Beat with wisk until well combined and set aside. Grease well a deep 9×13 pan (if you just have a regular cake pan: steam or stir fry the spinach and mushrooms until wilted and “shrunk” to save room in your pan).

Next, place just enough sauce in the bottom of the pan to coat it. Then layer the ingredients in this order:
Single layer lasagna noodles
Spinach and mushrooms
Another layer noodles
Cottage cheese mixture
Bell peppers
Any noodles that are left
Spagetti sauce

I have mine in a low oven a couple hours before we eat WITHOUT the mozzeralla on top and covered tightly with foil. About 20-30 min before time to eat, I’ll turn the oven up to 450^, remove the foil, add the mozzeralla, and cook until bubbly and brown.

If you are in a bit more of a hurry, place in a 450^ oven with the cheese and bake for 45-60 min. Check at 30 min and make sure the cheese is not getting too brown. If it is, loosely lay foil that has been sprayed with oil on top for the next 15-20 min. Remove to finish browning.

Crusty bread, yummy salad, and a tall glass of ice water will make this a beautiful meal!!

If you prefer to include meat, brown about a half pound of ground beef and add it into one of the layers (but not on top- it will get to brown and hard). Enjoy!!


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September 19, 2011

Spiced Apple Pancake Syrup

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 8:45 am

We went camping over the weekend and I discovered that I did not bring any syrup for our campfire pancakes! For shame, for shame!!! I did have some basic ingredients though and so I made spiced apple pancake syrup. It was yummy!

The Recipe:

3 single-serve packets Alpine Spiced Cider instant drink mix
2 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 Tbl butter/margarine

Combine all the ingredients and bring it to a fast, foamy, rolling boil. Remove from heat, cool slightly and serve over fresh pancakes! Yummy!!


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August 17, 2011

Fresh Tomato Zucchini Bake

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 12:52 pm

One of my FAVORITE summer dishes of ALL time.
The recipe:

olive oil (any oil will do)
1-2 large tomatoes or equivalent, sliced thin
zucchini- similar amount to the tomatoes when sliced
onion, sliced thin
Mozzeralla- slices or shred

Preheat oven to 450^ Drizzle a good coating of oil on the bottom of a casserole that is large enough to hold your ingredients. Layer tomato, zucchini, onion, a light drizzle of oil, sprinkle spices, heavy layer of mozzeralla and repeat. Bake in a hot oven for 20-30 min until the cheese is melted and slightly browned on top and the tomatoes have gotten juicy and bubbly. Serve hot with crusty bread or like we did today: Cold Turkey Sandwiches, Corn on the cob, this yummy dish, and fresh nectarines.



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July 31, 2011

Baked “fried” Fish with Dill Sauce

Filed under: Dips, Sauces, and Dressings, Fish and Shrimp, Vegetables, What's for Dinner? — Tags: , , — ruralmomof3 @ 12:36 pm

  The quality of this picture does not give this deliciously crunchy fish justice but when your 9 y.o. offers to help- you have to say yes!

Today for lunch we had Baked fried Fish,  Oven fried Sweet Potatoes, Corn, and Lemon-Lime Aid.  Frying in the oven doesn’t make for a low-fat fish but it does make a lot less of a mess in your kitchen!  Here’s how you do it!

The Recipe:

Baked “Fried” Fish

Enough thawed or fresh Fish to feed your family – I used 4-5 White Fish fillets

Buttermilk or Regular Milk



Butter (4 Tbl is what I used) -melted

Salt n Pepper


Preheat oven to 450^

Drain and pat dry your fillets and cut them into appropriately sized pieces for your family.  Prepare the flour dredge by putting some flour, salt, pepper into a ziploc bag.  I’m not giving measurements because it depends on how much fish you’re frying- but I used about 1 1/2 cups flour.   Place some buttermilk in a bowl (I used about 1 cup).  As you cut up the fillets, place them into the buttermilk.  Once all is cut up, take the fish the has soaked the most first and put it into the flour bag.  Continue wetting your fillets with milk and placing into the flour.  Zip the bag shut leaving air in there so there is room to toss things about inside the bag.  “Manhandle” the bag until all the fish is coated.

Spread a good coating of vegetable oil onto a cookie sheet (that has sides).  Place the fish skin side down onto the oil.  Drizzle some melted butter onto each piece of fish until all “gets some butter flavor”.

Bake for 15-20 min. until fish flakes easily.  If you would like your fillets to be well browned on each side, flip them over about half-way through.

Sweet Potato Slices

Wash and peel 2-4 sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/2 – 3/4 ” slices.  Put them into a Ziploc bag with a splash of oil.  Seal and “manhandle” until all have nice coating of oil on them.  Bake in a single layer in a hot oven until they are soft and slightly brown.  I baked mine while I was prepping the fish.  Then I put them in a heavy bowl covered with foil to keep them warm while the fish baked.


Dill Sauce

1 Tbl dried onion

1 Tbl dried Dill

2-4 Tbl lemon juice


1/8- 1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)


Combine well and let sit for 10 min or so (while the fish bakes)  to soften the herbs and blend the flavors.  Serve over fish and “lop up” any drips with the sweet potatoes.  Delicious!!!



June 9, 2011

Grandma Schmidt’s Strawberry Pie

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 8:37 pm

Grandma Schmidt is not my grandma but some very good friends of mine’s grandma. What an Awesome lady and cook!! Here’s her recipe!


1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/8 tsp. salt

Add 1 cup water and cook until this thickens. Add 3 1/2 Tbsp. strawberry jello. Cook one more minute. Let cool and fold into 1 qt. strawberries. Pour into a graham cracker crust and top with cool whip.


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May 21, 2011

Homemade Subway

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 5:22 pm

We love eating this!!! I buy some nice looking rolls on the clearance rack at the grocery store, several varieties of lunch meat, cheese, lettuce, and mayo (or italian dressing ). Then the kids place their orders and I toast them in the oven.

My favorite roll for this is a ciabatta roll- our local Walmart makes awesome ciabatta!! Split the rolls in half, spread on a bit of mayo, butter, or dressing. Place the meat on one half and the cheese on the other. I use the broiler setting but at 450^ for 4-6 min (check after 3min). When the cheese is melted and the buns have started to brown, they are done! If you don’t like toasted subs, I would still recommend that if you are buying day-old, clearance buns, you should at least warm them in the microwave to “freshen” them. Top with some lettuce or whatever veggie you want and enjoy!

Add your favorite chips to this as well- remembering that one family bag of chips at $2.50- 4.00 will feed 6 or more and chips in the individual bags are usually .99-ish.

Inexpensive meal with fast food flare!! Enjoy!


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April 30, 2011

Lousy Leftovers to Lovely Lunch

Filed under: What's for Dinner? — ruralmomof3 @ 7:45 pm

 My 9 y.o. thought today’s lunch would make an excellent post for my blog.  He’s a pretty good photographer, if I do say so myself!  Today’s lunch was for carb lovers. .  . we had nachos with cheese, potato soup, potato salad, rice pudding,  broiled ham sandwich, watermelon, and milk!  Most everything on here has a recipe on the blog already,  I think. . . except for the broiled ham sandwiches.

The recipe:

Slightly stale buns

Ham or other lunch meat that needs used up


Optional other ingredients:



italian dressing

lettuce (to be added AFTER broiling-lol)

Lay the buns on a cookie sheet, open faced.  Place your ingredients on both sides of the bun.  I like to put the ham and cheese on one side and the mayo or Italian dressing spread on the other.  Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and/or the bread is toasted.  Put the buns back together again and serve!  Yum!

Andrew wanted to help me with today’s post but came down with a fever. . .   poor thing!  Hope you enjoyed today’s post from the 9 y.o.’s desk written by his substitute editor!

April 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 3:04 pm

The local fire department called a few days back wondering if I would donate 2 pies for the spring fish fry as usual. Just dropped them off and forgot to take a picture to put on here! Anyway. . . I LOOOOOOVVVVVE Peanut Butter Pie. . .I make it a bit different every time depending on what I have on hand but here is how I made it today:

The recipe for 2 pies:

8 oz cream cheese
1 c. sour cream
18 oz jar peanut butter
1/4-1/2 c. sugar
2- 4 serving size boxes instant vanilla pudding mix (1 cup if using bulk)
2 1/2 c. milk

Optional additional ingredients-

Cool Whip

a few tbl additional peanut butter and some powdered sugar. . .

With your mixer and a large bowl, combine the cheese and sour cream until well blended. Add the Peanut Butter and sugar and beat until smooth and the sugar is dissolved (you can start with 1/4 c and add more at the end if you think it needs it). Then beat in the dry pudding mix until dissolved. Add the milk 1 c. or so at a time until all is mixed in well. Beat on high until fluffy. Divide in half and spread into 2 pre-baked pie crusts (or graham cracker crusts or just eat it!). If you would like a little garnish on the top you can spread the whipped topping on and then. . .

Place your additional peanut butter with a half cup or more powdered sugar. Cut the peanut butter into the sugar with a fork until the combination is crumbly. Then you can sprinkle a bit of this on top of the whipped topping or, if you don’t have any whipped topping on hand, sprinkle it right on the pudding mixture.

Refrigerate for a period of time if you and the family can keep your hands off it. Store any leftovers (like there will be any. . .ha) in the fridge too. This is very rich so you can probably squeeze 10-12 pieces out of each pie if necessary. . .


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April 27, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 8:22 am

This is one of those recipes that is for those evenings when you come home and say, “what am I going to make for supper!” and look in the cupboard and realize the only thing slightly close to a quick meal is a bag of tortilla chips and they’re stale. .. Well, they don’t have to be stale but this is a great way to use them up when they are!

The Recipe:

Tortilla Chips- enough for a thick layer of them on a cookie sheet
Shredded Cheese- enough to sprinkle on the chips- the more the better

Any of the following:
Ground Beef- browned
Leftover beef or chicken- shredded and re-heated
Taco Sauce
Sour Cream
Black Olives
Lime juice

Sprinkle that cheese on the chips and melt it in the oven on broil (this only takes a minute or two). Place a pile of this gooey, chewy mess on each plate and pass the other ingredients around the table for a fabulous fiesta styled dinner! Enjoy!

Side note- I love the new lime flavored tortilla chips and Doritoes but I do not recommend these for this recipe. The flavoring burns quite quickly. If all you have are flavored tortilla chips, do not turn the oven to broil. Instead bake them in a slower oven (300-350^) for a longer period of time until the cheese melts. Check them at 5 min. and then every 1-2 minutes thereafter until it’s melted.

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April 26, 2011

Susan’s Chicken Casserole

Filed under: Uncategorized — ruralmomof3 @ 7:27 am

Yet another use for those boiled eggs has been received from my friend on Facebook (she’s a friend in “real” life too- lol)! Thanks to Susan Cook, you can use up 6 eggs in one dish!! Here you go!

The Recipe:

‎6 c. cooked chicken pieces,
6 boiled eggs (chopped)
1 can sliced wather chestnuts,
1/4-1/2 tsp. dried chopped onions,
1 pkg. slivered almonds,
2 cans cream of chicken (celery or mushroom) soup,
1 cup mayonnaise,
2 tsp. lemon juice,
3 cups minute rice.

Mix and place in 9×13 pan. Top with crushed rice chex. Bake at 350* for 30 min. YUM!


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